All signs are pointing toward a very strong round of capital spending for the Chemical Processing Industry (CPI) during the second quarter of 2012, according to Industrial Info Resources. Total CPI capital project spending identified in the United States and Canada for the second quarter so far totals $2.3 billion, a sharp increase over the same quarter last year, which totaled $1.3 billion. Industrial Info says this increase could help the CPI maintain momentum gained over the past year that has led to consistent increases in overall spending.

Industrial Info research shows the top 10 capital projects have a combined total investment value of $1.2 billion. Plans call for three of these projects to be grassroot chemical plants totaling an estimated $475 million. Industrial Info says this is an encouraging sign since grassroot chemical plant construction in the U.S. has slowed considerably in recent years. According to Industrial Info, the slowdown was partly due to global economics, but was also a result of the maturity of the North American chemicals industry.

Among the top projects Industrial Info has identified are plans by Dallas-based Occidental Chemical Corporation to build a nearly $250 million chlor-alkali plant in New Johnsonville, Tenn., expected to be completed by the end of 2013. BASF Fina Petrochemicals LP plans to begin construction in May on an estimated $200 million feedstock conversion project of its Port Arthur, Texas ethylene cracker. In addition, US Nitrogen, a subsidiary of Austin Powder Company, plans to begin construction soon for a grassroot ammonium nitrate plant in Greeneville, Tenn., which Industrial Info says will be the first grassroot ammonium nitrate plant built in the U.S. in many years.

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